Friday, December 07, 2012

Making Wise Choices

It was M. Scott Peck that said, “"Life is difficult.” (Peck, 1978/1992 p13). “We must attest to the fact that life was never meant to be easy, and that it is nothing but a battlefield of problems. We can either moan about them or solve them.” Choices come at us in myriad forms. This week I was offered the opportunity to take on a small consulting job. The simpleton would say ‘yes’ simply based on the money it afforded. The better option is to run the decision through a values grid.

Does this job put too much pressure on my family? Is the money worth the stress? How valuable to me (and to God) are my days off? Will taking this job allow me Sabbath rest? Will my wife and family benefit by this? The list can go on ad infinitum dependent on your own values. The aforementioned are some of mine.

My career decisions have been in part based on need and in part based on the freedom they offered. Whereas some choose work based on salary my choice has been lifestyle and freedom. For me that means freedom to invest my life outside of work. There is both a price to be paid and a reward to be gained. For me my choices allowed me to be present for my daughters’ school activities. I am one of few fathers that can say they have been to all their child’s plays, debates and rewards ceremonies. The down side is that I could have made more money.

Life is full of choices; a battlefield of problems. If we are to choose wisely we must know who we are and what our goals are for this life. Goal setting is a good place to start. Following that create a grid based on significant values; time, money, family, rest and exercise for example. Run the decision through your grid. Pray. Finally do not allow yourself to be coerced by the tyranny of the urgent. The important things will wait.
The unimportant will fade away. Stay true to your beliefs and stay on target. Solving the problems is necessary. Solving them with wisdom and the right tools will yield life long blessing.

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